I absolutly love potatoes, and I was wondering if they are okay to eat on the paleo diet, and if so, how often? I'm doing this diet for my health. Im already skinny so im not looking to lose weight. I know a lot of people say you shouldn't eat potatoes in this diet but I want to still. Is that okay? thanks! Also, what are the reasons to not eat them?
asked byJenny_18 (10)
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on November 26, 2012
at 07:19 PM
The theory behind not eating potatoes on the paleo diet is that they were not available during the paleolithic. White potatoes contain glycoalkaloids and solanins, which are somewhat toxic. Most of this is concentrated in the skin of the potato.
Most of us on PaleoHacks have moved beyond the re-enactment theory of paleo to evaluating foods individually for the pros and cons of each food as well as it's effects on us personally. In other words one person may be fine with potatoes and another could have difficulty. As an example, I am type 2 diabetic, so I don't eat a lot of potatoes. (I do love them still). But as long as you peel them and assuming the carb load is not a problem for you (sounds like it isn't) potatoes should be fine. In fact, potatoes have a lot of solid nutritional value. (Okay, not like liver and eggs, but pretty decent, anyways.)
on November 26, 2012
at 07:44 PM
If you do not react to nightshades, then potatoes are probably fine. People have been eating roots and tubers for a VERY long time.
Were potatoes available during the paleolithic? No. Neither were cows and chicken. Neither were most of the fruits and vegetables we consume. If you try to become to prescriptive and focus on re-enactment, the fact is there are very few things you would be able to consume.
Add a potato a few times a week. See how you feel. Do you get bloated or gassy? Do you get stomach pains? Or do you feel refreshed and invigorated? -- That's the only way to know if they will work for you.
on November 26, 2012
at 07:49 PM
Regular white potatoes are a vegetable that has received its load of hatred from the Paleo diet community in general, often without reason. It’s already established that, like eggplants, tomatoes and bell peppers, potatoes are in the nightshade family of vegetables and can create problems for those already sensitive to other nightshades. Unlike other nightshades though, most of the toxins are found in the skin of potatoes and not in their flesh. We now have access to simple tools to detoxify vegetables such as potatoes: potato peelers.
Potatoes, especially green potatoes and those with green spots (try not to pick those), also contain saponins, mainly solanine and chaconine, which are also toxic in high dose. Once again, the major part of those compounds is found in the skin and is easily removable. Many studies have failed to demonstrate that the amount of those compounds found in commercially available potatoes could be detrimental to our health.
It’s very important to keep in mind that virtually all vegetables contain some amounts of toxins. Potatoes are no exception, but are often not any worse than other commonly eaten vegetables. This is why it’s a good idea to eat a diet that’s diverse when it comes to plants.
I myself have been dealing with digestive issues and many otherwise healthy food choices are still off limits for me. In spite of that, I tolerate potatoes pretty well and include them as a source of healthy carbohydrates in my diet. Many people are in similar situations where they struggle to properly digest many sources of carbohydrates while peeled and cooked potatoes are just fine.
Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Potatoes are also a source of complete protein and can be eaten exclusively in periods of scarcity without the risk being protein deficient. Many cultures have thrived on diets very high in potatoes.
(Vary your source of starchy tubers as all other veggies... I have gotten into Lotus root lately, roasted in duck fat, mmm)